Dorset agrees cost-cutting Waste Partnership plan

7 December 2010

By Chris Sloley 

Councillors representing the seven Dorset local authorities have today (December 7) agreed to combine their waste services as the Dorset Waste Partnership - which paves the way for a standardised in-house recycling and refuse collection service across the county.

The seven Dorset local authorities have formally agreed plans to join together as the Dorset Waste PartnershipThe councils had mooted the possibility of joining together as one waste entity in October 2010, predicting that combined their efforts on waste collection, treatment, disposal and cleansing could generate £2 million-a-year in savings by 2015/16 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Under the proposal backed today, Dorset county council has agreed to join with its six borough and district councils and identified a host of areas in which the seven partners will seek to achieve savings with regards to waste and recycling.

The county council said establishing the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) would lead to a reduction in vehicles through cross boundary collections and sharing spare vehicles, as well as joint procurement of vehicles, fuel and containers.

Furthermore, the arrangement would enable the partner councils to generate increased income from trade waste collections, allow them to use each other's waste transfer stations and depots, and also lead to "increased productivity".

Councillor Hilary Cox, chair of the waste management liaison panel, said: "This is a very exciting project which is generating national interest from other local authorities because we are the first partnership aiming to deliver an in-house waste collection and cleansing service."

"By joining together in partnership we can achieve minimum savings of £2 million by 2015/16. Working together means we can deliver high quality, low cost services that help us to increase recycling performance, reduce the amount of waste collected and improve residents' satisfaction."

Structure

The move towards a Dorset Waste Partnership would be facilitated by a grant from the department for environment, food and rural affairs - which has pledged £400,000 towards the set-up of the joint body.

The DWP will take responsibility for waste and cleansing services in Christchurch borough council, Dorset county council, East Dorset district council, North Dorset district council and Purbeck district council in April 2011.

Due to planned merges of office structures and involvement in the sailing events for the 2012 Olympics, West Dorset district council and Weymouth and Portland borough council will join the DWP at the later date of April 2013.

Two councillors from each authority will serve on a joint committee for the DWP, with West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland not voting on decisions about service delivery or share in savings until they are recognised as full members of the partnership.

All of the seven constituent members of the newly formed body are striving to achieve a 60% waste recycling goal by 2015/16 under the county's joint waste management strategy (see letsrecycle.com story).

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